The Mum Show, Smith College, Northampton

Last modified: Thursday, November 21, 2013

A bright red Japanese “torii” — a type of gate often found at the entrance to a shrine — greets visitors to he annual Chrysanthemum Show in Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory. Titled “Homage to Nikko,” the show was designed by Rob Nicholson, the conservatory’s manager. About 500 chrysanthemums combine with design elements borrowed from temples and shrines in Nikko, Japan, where Nicholson visited decades ago.

A steady stream of visitors, most taking pictures, stopped to view colorful bands of mums cascading down a wall, while across the room a sculpture on loan from Roger DiTarando of Connecticut played host to climbing mums.

David Bennet, of Ludlow, spent more than an hour at the conservatory, taking about 100 pictures, some of which he plans to use as screen savers on his computer.

He said he loves flowers and has been gardening his entire life: “It’s November and the color is going away. Now you have color inside.”

Each year, student-grown hybrids are displayed and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorites. The winner is inducted into the Chrysanthemum Hall of Fame.

The show continues through Nov. 17.

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